Without three of its key players, the Cougars claw their way back into the game with rally the falls just short

It wasn't the finish Canby football coach Jimmy Joyce was hoping for, but given the Cougars were short-handed, the effort and fight were worth noting.

The Cougars dropped their final football game of the season to Crater by a 20-14 score, but had a chance to tie it or take the lead late. They just weren't able to convert.

"I'm really proud of how this group fought and played all night," Joyce said. "We played without quarterback Mikey Gibson, wide receiver Chance Miller and running back Tyler mead - three huge playmakers. Guys really stepped up."

FILE PHOTO - The Canby High football team dropped a 20-14 decision to Crater Friday night.

Joyce pointed to the play of back-up quarterback Zack Markell, who managed the game well and led a pair of scoring drives in the second half.

"We just came up short on a fourth-and-two on the six-yard-line with a minute left," Joyce said of the game's closing moments. "Very proud of how Zach was able to step right in and take control of the offense. He made big plays all night with both his arm and legs - running for one score and throwing for another."

Defensively, the Cougars held Crater scoreless in the second half as they mounted their comeback. Canby, which had allowed a handful of big plays in the first half, tightened up defensively and held the Comet's offense under control.

FILE PHOTO - Canby coach Jimmy Joyce expressed his pride in this year's senior class, which overcame something completely unique due to the pandemic.

"After allowing a few big plays in the first, guys settled down and played sound, aggressive defense that caused a lot of problems," Joyce said. "While we didn't get the result we wanted, we fought and our seniors left it all out on the field.

"This senior class has been through so much," Joyce added. "I am so proud of how they have handled the last year. They left a legacy that will be remembered for a long time."

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